Monday, November 30, 2009

Another mid-week meal for busy families

Quincy’s black bean quesadillas:

6-8 8” tortillas (soft)
½ buttercup squash (bake cut side down for 30 min or so at 400
2-4 cloves garlic
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 ½ cups cooked black beans
Handful of fresh spinach or swiss chard, chopped
Fresh cilantro (optional)
2 cups grated cheese

Bake squash and scrape out flesh.

Saute onion and garlic for 5 minutes. Add squash and sauté ‘til warm (another 5 minutes or so.) Season with sea salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Spread ¼ cup of the squash mixture on half of the tortilla, top with a sprinkling of black beans, then a bit of cheese, then chard or spinach, finish with a bit more cheese and the cilantro if using. Fold the empty side over the layered side, press gently. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

To cook:
Either brown them in a fry pan (a few minutes each side until lightly browned) or cook them on the BBQ on low-to-medium heat (watch carefully).

Using a pizza wheel, cut each tortilla into thirds. Serve with all of your favourite Mexican sides (salsa, guacamole) and carrot-cabbage salad (recipe below).

Some tips:
Bake your squash ahead of time and freeze the flesh. Then all you need to do is thaw it before getting your fillings going.

Try replacing the squash with sweet potato (baked or boiled)

Try feta or mild chevre (soft goat’s cheese) instead of cheddar or mozzarella.

Soak and boil black beans from dried for more flavour and texture (I find the canned a little mushy). It's easy, just soak 1-2 cups of dried beans overnight in plenty of cold water. Drain, add fresh water to cover by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil and simmer 'til cooked to your liking (an hour or so). Freeze extras so you always have them on hand.

Carrot & cabbage slaw

2 cups grated carrots (use the bigger holes on your box grater)
2 cups grated red cabbage (I use a flat cheese slicer to make my cabbage thin and ribbony)
Toss this with basic dressing (see below).

1/3 cup olive oil
2T cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
11/2 T maple syrup
1/2 t salt
ground pepper

Before serving, squeeze half a lemon over the slaw and add the zest of one lemon. (Hint: zest before squeezing - it's much easier.)

Walnuts are yummy sprinkled over too.

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